Intelligent Energy Systems


Energy is essential to economic and social development and improved quality of life. However, the current global pattern of energy supply and use is not sustainable. Therefore, the innovations on energy efficient technologies and renewable energy technologies are key factors to achieve the sustainable development. At the same time, the availability of novel energy efficient, energy conversion and energy storage technologies is very important to improve the usability and cost efficiency of industrial and building automation systems, robotics and electric vehicles

The global objectives of the Intelligent Energy Systems thematic strand are the research on advanced electrical technologies, renewable energy and energy storage technologies, in the scope of industrial and building automation systems, robotics and electric vehicles. To achieve such objectives, the thematic strand develops research in two main areas: “Energy Efficient Technologies” and “Renewables and Smart Grids”.

In the “Energy Efficient Technologies” area is developed research work on the characterization of the energy consumptions in the residential, industry and tertiary sectors, as well as on the identification of energy savings opportunities. The work is focused on the economic, technical and ecodesign assessment of new technologies (with a strong focus on electric motors and drives) and on the design of new methodologies and systems to achieve energy savings.


In the “Renewables and Smart Grids” area is developed research work on the integration of renewables in buildings and on the large scales integration of intermittent generation into the electrical grid. The research work is focused on the assessment of complementarity between renewable sources and on the design of Demand Response platforms (including the use of electric vehicles) and energy storage systems.

The activities of ISR-UC in the strand of energy started 10 years ago. However, such activities have been recently reinforced due the participation and coordination of several European projects in the area of energy efficiency, decentralized generation and renewable energy sources, as well as due to a strong collaboration with electric utilities and national and international companies.

ISR-UC coordinated the largest European study for Intelligent Energy Europe for monitoring and analysis of the consumption of residential buildings and assessed, to EURELECTRIC, the electricity consumption in the residential and tertiary sectors. ISR-UC has also participated in several European projects to characterize the energy consumption and to identify strategies to achieve energy savings in the tertiary sector and public buildings. ISR-UC participated on European projects to define advanced methodologies to the assessment of energy savings and White Certificates schemes, as well as on tools to ensure an effective implementation of the EPBD directive and to promote the development of an energy efficiency services market.


ISR-UC coordinated the European study on the standby energy losses in new appliances, electronics and information technology equipment, as well as has participated in studies to improve energy efficiency in datacenters. ISR-UC has collaborated with industry Arquiled in the design of efficient public lighting systems and has developed intelligent luminaires (image and sound sensors) for LED street lighting. ISR-UC has participated in European projects about energy efficient lighting and has carried out studies on Solid State Lighting for the EC Joint Research Center. ISR-UC coordinated for the EC-DG-TREN the largest study carried out so far in the area of energy-efficient elevators.

ISR-UC is involved in projects related to energy efficiency improvements in motors and drives. ISR-UC has developed a novel high performance test facility for motors and drives and has been a key contributor to the technical work on efficiency analysis to develop new motor and drives standards in the EU, representing the European Commission in CENELEC. ISR-UC has been working to the European Commission’s DG-TREN, developing preparatory studies and impact assessments for implementing the Ecodesign Directive on products such as electric motors and drives, transformers and UPSs and assessing the impacts of the energy labelling and Ecodesign Directive.

ISR-UC has collaborated in studies with the transmission system operator REN and with the regional utility EEM in Madeira Island on the integration of high levels of intermittent renewable generation, being involved in European projects on the design of smart grid architectures to ensure the optimization between consumption and generation using Demand Response and energy storage. ISR-UC has been working on the development of ground source heat pump systems with thermal energy storage. ISR-UC has coordinated the group of smart metering and billing of the European action to support on the implementation of the Energy Efficiency Directive and has been working on the economic and environmental assessment of electric vehicles.


ISR-UC is developing for the national utility EDP a novel integrated system for advanced monitoring and predictive maintenance in substations (infrared for overheating, ultraviolet for corona effect and visible for intrusion).

ISR-UC has developed local and regional energy planning and integrated resource planning in the electricity sector. ISR-UC has coordinated and participated in several projects about fuel cell systems and the energy use of biomass, has cooperated with the Portuguese Directorate General for Energy and Geology on the assessment of the national potential of high efficiency CHP and has cooperated with the regional authorities on the multi-impact evaluation of new hydropower dams.


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